Taupe Color

Taupe Color – Exploring Shades of Taupe and Color Combinations

This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn a small commission from purchases made through them, at no additional cost to you.


When learning about the taupe color, you may be wondering if the taupe is gray or brown. You likely will have many more questions about this unique color, such as what color is taupe, what are the various shades of taupe, and what colors go with taupe? If you have been thinking about taupe walls in your living room or perhaps some light taupe towels in your bathroom, you have come to the right place. The taupe color is versatile and can be used within the home, in fashion, art, and textiles. Let’s dive right into it and start learning about the taupe color, how it is best used in interior and exterior design, and how to utilize this versatile color in your space.



What Color Is Taupe? Is Taupe Gray or Brown?

Before we begin this exploration into the taupe color, the fundamental question remains – what color is taupe? Is taupe gray or brown? The taupe color can be best described as somewhere in between these two shades as the taupe color resembles a muted and murky shade of dark tan. Designers often bump heads when discussing the taupe color – is taupe gray or brown? Perhaps there is no correct answer. However, whether taupe is more brown or gray will depend on whether it has cool or warm tones. Interestingly, the colors surrounding the taupe color may also influence how you see it.

The taupe color is a neutral blend, and to create it, you will need to merge complimentary colors. Usually, complementary colors are used next to one another and not mixed. You will need to have a good understanding of the basics of color theory and what the primary and complementary colors are before you can create taupe colors.

Light Taupe Color Variations

People who work with color always revert to the color wheel. A color wheel is a visual aid for color reference as it also shows complementary colors and how the colors of the wheel will relate to one another. This method helps when choosing accent colors and when deciding which color combinations work best for your project.

Is taupe gray or brown? The taupe color can be called grayish brown, warm gray, and brownish-gray! It all depends on the warm or cool undertones. What does the term undertone mean? When mixing various colors, there is always a primary or complementary color added to the mix that will cause the result to have a cool bias thanks to a blue tone or a warmer bias because of a red tone. The taupe color may seem to be complex, but once you understand how colors intermingle, it is simple!

The taupe color is often mistaken for greige, but its only connection to this color is its grayish appearance. The taupe color is a lot warmer than greige, which is more of a gray-beige tone containing cool undertones. Some say that greige is a shade of taupe because of their similarities.


The History of Taupe Color

Taupe color does not have an expansive or richest history. Unlike the primary colors such as blue and red which have a far more vast and interesting history. However, the word taupe is derived from the Latin word talpa and the French word taupe, which means “mole”. As you can imagine, the connection is because the taupe color best describes the color of a French mole!

Mauve Taupe Color

The 1930s Dictionary of Color first mentioned the taupe color which explains that it was used for the first time in the early 19th century. It was not until the 1900s that the word was recorded in the Oxford dictionary. As time continued, the popularity of various shares of taupe began to develop, resulting in the shade of taupe we know today. This shade has been used in the Pantone color pallet collection since 2016.


What Is the Meaning of Taupe Color?

The taupe color is a neutral shade and has a modest tone for all occasions. Considered to be a comforting and sophisticated color, this subtle gray-brown tone is timeless, according to all designers. Despite this fact, taupe color can have the opposite effect if it is not used correctly, resulting in a color that can appear depressing and bland.

Dark taupe colors accompanied with the correct accent colors can be seen as dependable and stylish, whereas a light taupe color is considered to be a welcoming tone.

The taupe color is not intrusive as it has a warm and welcoming effect, but some have stated that it can be monotonous and boring. When looking at the meaning and the psychology of color, the shades of taupe often resonate with modest individuals who have a wild side but aren’t attention seekers.



The Various Shades of Taupe

Once you first start to learn about color and design, you will understand the importance of color codes and how to identify the various shades and tints of colors by using them. These universal codes were developed for prints, fabric and textile production, and online designers. Using the hex code enables a designer to search databases with ease. Other codes include RGB and CMYK codes, these represent each color for print and advertising.

What Colors go with Taupe


Mauve Taupe Color

Best described as a dark reddish-gray color or a shade of pink, mauve taupe is a warm tone that can sometimes be found in nature. It was first recorded as an English color name in the 1920s.

This luscious color contrasts beautifully with shades of lime green.

Taupe ShadeTaupe Hex CodeCMYK Taupe Color Code (%)RGB Taupe Color CodeTaupe Color
Mauve Taupe#915f6d0, 34, 25, 43145, 95, 109


Dark Taupe Color

The dark taupe color is one of the original shades of taupe and was recorded in A Dictionary of Color in the early 1900s. When compared to other shades of taupe it is notably darker, thus where this particular tone finds its name.

Dark Taupe Colors

Taupe ShadeTaupe Hex CodeCMYK Taupe Color Code (%)RGB Taupe Color CodeTaupe Color
Dark Taupe#483c320, 17, 31, 7272, 60, 50


Rose Taupe Color

This is a desaturated red color and is known as rose taupe. It pairs well with muted browns and reds. If you are looking for some contrast in your home, rose taupe goes beautifully with a desaturated cyan color – a bolder choice that might surprise you!

Rose taupe is a very popular color choice for interior design, and having accessories in a rose taupe is the epitome of class and style, often adding some much-needed spice to an otherwise dull space.

Taupe ShadeTaupe Hex CodeCMYK Taupe Color Code (%)RGB Taupe Color CodeTaupe Color
Rose Taupe#905d5d0, 35, 35, 44144, 93, 93


Light Taupe Color

The light taupe color is sometimes referred to as a tan color. Crayola pencil packs even contain a light taupe-colored pencil. This light taupe color is said to be more welcoming compared to a dark taupe.

Light Taupe Color

Taupe ShadeTaupe Hex CodeCMYK Taupe Color Code (%)RGB Taupe Color CodeTaupe Color
Light Taupe#b38B6d0, 22, 39, 30179, 139, 109


Purple Taupe Color

This taupe color matches beautifully with a darker gray shade of green. This shade of taupe can be classified as a darker grayish magenta. A purple taupe color comprises almost equal parts of red, green, and blue.

It is a very dark shade of taupe, usually used for accent pieces and for accessories rather than an entire taupe wall.

Taupe ShadeTaupe Hex CodeCMYK Taupe Color Code (%)RGB Taupe Color CodeTaupe Color
Purple Taupe#50404d0, 20, 4, 6980, 64, 77


Gray Taupe Color

This gray-brown shade of taupe color is known as gray taupe. The pink undertones in this color enable it to combine well with other warm-tones colors and shades of gray.

Interior Taupe Walls

Taupe ShadeTaupe Hex CodeCMYK Taupe Color Code (%)RGB Taupe Color CodeTaupe Color
Gray Taupe#8b85890, 4, 1, 45139, 133, 137



A Look at Taupe Color Combinations and What Colors Go With Taupe

Dark taupe and light taupe are stunning neutral shades that are often used for fabric textiles for interior design. This is because of how versatile the shades of taupe are! The taupe color works well with olive tones as well as warmer tones such as yellow, pink and orange, yellow. However, taupe is so versatile that it can even pair well with blues and greens and even pale lavender! The undertone of the taupe being used will help determine what colors go with taupe. Let us have a look at some taupe color combinations.

Different Shades of Taupe


Warm Colors and Taupe

Generally, the taupe color is considered to be a warmer color with reddish or purple undertones, making it a great choice when paired with other warm colors and tones. A muted color such as pastel pink or soft yellow work well, as does a bright fuchsia.

Even though olive green is a cooler color, its yellow undertones make it a warmer green shade, making it another good pairing for taupe.

Taupe ShadeTaupe Hex CodeCMYK Taupe Color Code (%)RGB Taupe Color CodeColor
Light Taupe#b38B6d0, 22, 39, 30179, 139, 109
Soft Yellow#eeee9b0, 0, 35, 7238, 238, 155
Pastel Pink#f8c8dc0, 19, 11, 3248, 200, 220
Olive Green#bab86c0, 1, 42, 27186, 184, 108
Fuchsia#d958a00, 59, 26, 15217, 88, 160


Cool Colors and Taupe

Taupe is versatile enough to be paired with blues and grays. However, this will depend on the undertones in your chosen taupe color. Taupe colors containing undertones of violet or gray enable it to be paired with cooler colors. These include but are not limited to cool lavender and light green, but bolder and more vibrant colors such as turquoise pair well with taupe too.

Is Taupe Grey or Brown

Taupe ShadeTaupe Hex CodeCMYK Taupe Color Code (%)RGB Taupe Color CodeColor
Gray Taupe#8b85890, 4, 1, 45139, 133, 137
Sky Blue#87ceeb43, 12, 0, 8135, 206, 235
Light Green#90ee9039, 0, 39, 7144, 238, 144
Cool Lavender#b3a6a50, 7, 8, 30179, 166, 165
Turquoise#30d5c877, 0, 6, 1648, 213, 200


Analogous Colors of Taupe

These darker taupe colors look enchanting alongside each other. They are also located next to one another on the color wheel.

You can combine dark taupe colors with these unique shades, such as cola and temptress dark gray red tones.

Taupe ShadeTaupe Hex CodeCMYK Taupe Color Code (%)RGB Taupe Color CodeColor
Dark Taupe#483c320, 17, 31, 7272, 60, 50
Cola#3434250, 0, 29, 8052, 52, 37
Temptress#3425260, 29, 27, 8052, 37, 38



Using Acrylic Paint to Create Shades of Taupe Color

Most artists will tell you that sometimes it is easier to create your blend of colors, especially when you want to achieve a specific tone. To make the taupe color, you can mix all three primary colors red, yellow, and blue using a palette knife. Use equal parts of each. This should result in a dark brown color.

Painting results can vary because of the unique formulas paint brands use to create their mixes. Various colors will also create differing results thanks to their undertones. For example, cerulean blue contains a green undertone, and ultramarine blue has purple undertones. These undertones will affect the result of your mix.

Taupe Color Paint

Mixing your taupe color will result in a brownish pigment, so to reach the desired tone, you can add black paint. Some artists suggest using charcoal instead because black can be extremely bold and overpowering.

Adding blue pigment will make your taupe blend cooler, and adding red will make your taupe blend warmer. Try adding identical amounts of blue, red, and white to create a gray-brown. When you create colors such as taupe, we suggest recording and noting the amounts you use so that you 3can look back and replicate these colors.



Uses of Taupe Color for Home Design

Taupe walls are a popular color choice, but they can make a room appear bland. Therefore, it is best to pair taupe with a bright and bold accent wall. Taupe walls can make a space seem smaller than it is if used incorrectly. It is advised to paint walls in a light taupe if you are painting the entire space. You could also use dark taupe for an accent wall if you wish.

This contrast keeps things natural but interesting.


Using Taupe Colors on Walls

Taupe walls in both interior and exterior design is a very popular choice for many people. The reasoning is obvious. This color is versatile and works well with so many other color options. Applying a light taupe for a taupe wall option is an excellent neutral design choice. Adding accessories in yellow or pastel colors can create a romantic tone. Adding whites and other neutral tones can encourage a welcoming atmosphere, this is why taupe walls are used for business spaces or reception rooms. To bring life and vibrance to a space, you could add accessories in aqua or bright pink.

Decorated Taupe Walls

Taupe ShadeTaupe Hex CodeCMYK Taupe Color Code (%)RGB Taupe Color CodeColor
Dark Taupe#483c320, 17, 31, 7272, 60, 50
Tan#d2b48c0, 14, 33, 18210, 180, 140
White#ffffff0, 0, 0, 0255, 255, 255

Taupe walls should not be a second thought when creating interior spaces. Cool taupe shades work very well in bathrooms and bedrooms as their undertones have a calming effect. The warmer and lighter taupe colors work well in larger spaces and have an inviting ambiance. For narrow rooms and passageways, light taupe is the better choice.

There are a lot of different taupe paint colors – walls are generally painted with light taupe colors.

But darker shade of taupe walls are beautiful too! This shade of taupe is better used as trimmings and fittings and adds luxurious touches to any room. Darker taupe walls alongside white accessories or even a white wall with taupe accessories go very well together! Many designers feel that dark taupe walls should be used on an accent wall because, when used on a larger scale, dark taupe walls can be overpowering. Therefore, many feel that dark taupe colors should be used to create texture or used in accessories.

Taupe Walls

Natural flooring can also add contrast to taupe walls! Any wooden fixture or furniture would complement all shades of taupe, and wood types such as walnut, and mahogany look lovely. Adding wooden tables, shelving, or warm wooden flooring can also spruce up a room with taupe walls. Besides wood, the taupe color compliments all types of ceramic tiles or stone flooring.


Uses of Taupe in Color Schemes and for Accessories

Choosing a light taupe wall color is a great choice, especially when paired with colorful accessories. Subject to the shades of taupe that will be used, you can enhance the space with various blue, pink or green shades by adding accessories such as scatter pillows, blankets and throws, drapes, and furniture.

Modern accessories available in a metallic finish such as pewter, brass, bronze, or nickel also pair beautifully with taupe.

These can include items such as a vase or lamp, clock, picture frames, and even metal furniture that can industrialize any kitchen or bedroom. These options are becoming very popular with minimalistic-apartment living. Here are a few ways to decorate a taupe color room:

  • Framing colorful pictures
  • Black and white photographs without frames
  • Brightly colored flowers
  • Off-white macrame plant and wall hangings

Shades of Taupe Decoration

  • Golden or metallic clocks and vases
  • Grass lampshades
  • Metallic-colored pot plants

The most stylish way to use taupe color is simply white. This timeless due can make any space stylish and add a touch of luxury with a gray taupe blanket and scatter pillows. Ideally, add raised textured pillows and fabrics to create diversity.


Who knew how complex the seemingly simple taupe color could be? Is taupe gray or brown? We hope we answered this question for you today! This versatile color is one of the top choices for interior design because of its ability to complement many colors. We hope you will consider this humble color and try taupe walls or accessories in your home or office space.


View our What Color Is Taupe web story here.



Frequently Asked Questions


What Color Is Taupe?

The argument continues, is taupe gray or brown? There are many shades of taupe, yet it is still hard to distinguish if it is more of a brown or gray shade. Technically, it depends on the undertone in the shade of taupe.


What Color Combinations Go With Taupe?

Deciding what colors go with taupe will depend on the tone and uses of the taupe tone you are using. The taupe color is considered a neutral tone and will pair very well with most pastel colors, such as soft yellow or pink. Both green and blue also pair well with taupe. You could choose to be bold and pair the taupe color with bright fuchsia or turquoise!


What Is the Ideal use of Taupe Color in Interior Design?

Being a neutral color, most designers like to use the light taupe color for taupe walls and a dark taupe color for accessories and accents. This is to prevent the taupe from becoming overbearing.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *